Previously we have reported that association of cigarette smoke (CS) and chronic hypoxia (CH) interact positively to physiopathologically remodel pulmonary circulation. In present study we have exposed guinea pigs to CS smoke (four cigarettes/day; 3 months; CS) and to chronic hypoxia (12% O(2), 15 days; CH) alone or in combination (CSCH animals) and evaluated airways remodeling and resistance assessed as Penh (enhance pause). We measured Penh while animals breathe air, 10% O(2) and 5% CO(2) and found that CS and CH animals have higher Penh than controls; Penh was even larger in CSCH animals. A rough parallelism between Penh and thickness of bronchiolar wall and muscular layer and Goblet cell number was noticed. We conclude that CS and CH association accelerates CS-induced respiratory system damage, evidenced by augmented airway resistance, bronchial wall thickness and muscularization and Goblet cell number. Our findings would suggest that appearance of hypoxia would aggravate any preexisting pulmonary pathology by increasing airways resistance and reactivity.
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